Tag Archives: Kenny Askew

The vulnerability hangover

Kenny AskewIt’s New Year’s morning and I’m suffering from a hang-over, a vulnerability hangover, my hangover I wake up to when I share too deeply – maybe expose too much; wake with the fear that somehow this truer me will put me out of the fold.

“Don’t be weak, don’t be afraid, at least don’t show it, don’t talk about it. Don’t talk about who you are, your weaknesses and fears, about your sensitivities and how you can be hurt, your spirituality and your relationship to the something more.”

It is the tug of war of living in two worlds, that of the healing arts and that of a carpenter…worlds that can seem very far apart. And vulnerability seems to be the bridge linking the two. Somehow vulnerability, courage, fear and shame seem to share this bridge. How we organize and expose these elements can have incredibly different outcomes.

Sitting with people in a Hakomi way, we are asking them, inviting them and ourselves to go to the edge of what we know and open to the unknown, the unknown of ourselves; living on the boundary with a foot in two worlds like a fool jumping into the unknown, longing to open to the mysteries of ourselves.

When I look for the cure for a vulnerability hangover, rather than say, “I will never be vulnerable again,” I find safe places, like Hakomi, where I can be real and let my truer self come to the party.

One voice says, “Hide, don’t expose.” Another voice says, “Be willing to be vulnerable for it is the birthplace of creativity, imagination and connection.” With loving presence we give our vulnerabilities a soft place to land.

There has got to be something incredibly powerful in vulnerability, otherwise I wouldn’t be so compelled to share, to expose and to explore these depths. To explore these places puts me in touch with the extraordinary realms, and as soon as I am in touch with them, I want to share their brilliance. When we find something incredible that puts us in touch with the more – the more of who we are, we want to share it. But how to find the words? Is it in the words or the experience? How do we share an experience? Maybe by truly letting ourselves feel our experience.

In the zone of vulnerability, I find things that feel valuable and worth talking about. I think there is a healer part of ourselves that is an elegant opportunist, a master of present experience, that recognizes an opportunity and puts us on the path to epiphany. I love that part and I hate that part. That part looks for growth opportunities, not necessarily comfort opportunities. I don’t know how I got the idea that vulnerability was weakness, because it sure seems like it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable.

My vulnerability hangover feels better. Maybe it’s time to hit the sand and expose a little more.

Freedom From or Freedom To

How Hakomi helps…

kenny_smBy Kenny Askew

One of the questions new clients often ask is how many sessions will it take. Certainly if counselling was covered by insurance, they would want to know how many.

Mental and emotional health seem to take on a more nebulous quality than physical health does. With physical health, we can measure healing with the level of pain experienced, with range of motion or functional tests of one sort or another.

No matter where we are in our life process, there is always more to learn, more to experience, new frontiers to explore.

Emotional health is a little trickier. To me, life is a process of learning, growing, and experiencing. No matter where we are in our life process, there is always more to learn, more to experience, new frontiers to explore.

This is where Hakomi comes in. It is a system of assisted self-study. We can help each other and our clients by walking with them in their exploration of themselves and the way they are organized.

Sometimes I think of the self-discovery process as a process that may start out looking for freedom from something… freedom from pain, freedom from fear, freedom from loneliness. At some point, we have freedom to… freedom to create, freedom to make choice. By illuminating our beliefs, habits, and unconscious strategies and programs, Hakomi allows us the freedom to make choices that are conscious.

I think this is where it gets a lot more scary… “You mean it’s up to me? My choice matters? I get to choose? I think I want to go back to thinking it’s my childhood or my mother. If that was different in some way, my world would be whole. I think I’ll go back to freedom from again.”

What creates relief is realizing and experiencing that we have agency in life, that our thoughts and beliefs do shape the world we live in. This of course is where it gets scary, because blame and victimhood don’t work so well when we realize we do have power in our personal lives.

From problems to possibilities, freedom from to freedom to.

On this journey, it is helpful to have someone accompany us. The gentle walk of Hakomi can offer freedom on our path of self-discovery.